05 April, 2016

Social Injustice?

Yes, it's a bit of a "click-baity" title, but it's something I've been thinking about lately, and this whole "White Male Gamers as Terrorists" thing has fed into that (The article and the issues around it have been addressed by Wyrd). The problem is that I've seen a lot of people point the blame at Wyrd, but have seen far worse offences and atrocities commited by Games Workshop. I'm not saying that the volunteer representatives  of Wyrd (or employees, depending on whom you ask) get a free pass because Games Workshop does it worse.

As a graduate of Social and Cultural analysis with a minor in sociolingustics, I know that communications can be important, and that messagess can vary depending on the context of the speaker, and the implied context of the listener. I've tried to make a neutral comment regarding the experiences of my wife and I in regard to similar issues, and people latch onto the neutrally-intended "female" which I used in my comment. Is this just a case of women/ladies/girls just looking for something to be offended about when I'm actually trying to be supportive? Is it a legitimate response to "mansplaining" on my part? I've tried to use terminology that I thought would be "safe" but recipients have brought their own preconcieved notions to the table for that particular word and applied those preconcieved notions in a prejudicial way... that's right, they didn't look deeper into the context, have not apologised for bringing such notions into play (consciously or unconsciously), so naturally there is going to be an impasse. Trying to discuss it further will see people blocked and all those negative things that often come to the fore on social media.

Yes, there is toxic masculinity in the roleplaying and tabletop gaming community. Yes, members of the community look to other communities focused around cars, or football, or comics, and say that "those other guys are worse than us, why are you pocking on me?" Yes, there should be an end to it, but the very nature of toxic masculinity sees the blame put on others and often a distinct inability to engage in introspection.

But attacking people over semantics isn't the answer either, that's just doubling down and making it harder to hold a sensible dialogue over the issues.

Rant over.
Post a Comment